Gypsy & Willy - The Original Libertarian Bloggers
How Can You Laugh at a Time Like This?
Gypsy & Willy
Time for REAL Change
March 3, 2009
President Obama promised real change during his campaign. He said that the policies of the right...if you want to call the Bush administration's fiscal policies right wing...are the policies that got us into the jam we are in right now. So, what does he propose? Forgetting that the thirties depression was "saved" by World War II, he decides to use the only slightly successful policies of that era one more time. The Pooblioobs are certain that he will fail and they are probably right. The Demidupes, on the other hand, flush from their recent electoral victory, are frothing at the mouth for more government "solutions."
So what IS to be done?
Not liberal tax-and-spend nor conservative spend and...well...spend some more, mostly on war. Not saving the rich so they can start investing again. Saving firms too big to fail also will not work. Even giving tidbits of cash to the rest of us is destined to fail. The crisis is just too broad and too deep. So, it is time for a little socialism. Not the fake socialism of the liberals, nor the dreaded Marxist/Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist so the twentieth century, but some balls-to-the-wall socialism that recognizes the free market capitalism is OVER.
Does that mean we think all aspects of society, economics and politics should be socialized? Not a chance. The so-called communist countries have demonstrated during the last century that this does not work either. But, here's some startup ideas:
These are just a few things that would amount to REAL change. In future essays, we will continue to discuss other real change, with the emphasis on the political and social issues as well as the economic. Stay tuned.
- The government should nationalize all those firms that are too big to fail. Their executives and stockholders long ago surrendered to "let's get ours while the gettin's good" mentality, regardless of the consequences to society or to the future of the company. While governments are notoriously bad at managing enterprises, could they really do it worse than the current players? Marx made another prescient prediction concerning the demise of capitalism that is now coming true, namely that the cycle of boom then bust would result in ever larger firms, finally leading to monopoly capitalism. Once that occurs, the very incentives that drive free enterprise vanish. No more innovation. No more invisible hand, just gigantic compensation for their executives.
- A related fallacy is the idea that the rich are the only people who can drive the market. In fact, giving them more money...as the smarter of our politicians have observed...will just encourage them to repeat the errors of the past several decades. That is, instead of investing in real innovation, they will look for more gimmicks to cheat the tax system...not mention the poor...and make some QUICK bucks. In truth, the government is the only entity with ANY incentive to innovate, to look ahead to the future and...yes...to invest in it. Look what governments did during World War II, when the crisis involved death or subjugation to hundreds of millions of people. All of them, including the Axis powers, poured enormous amounts of energy and money into creating novel ways to kill one another. Yet, these very changes then led to equally enormous societal benefits that followed...television, computers, satellites, nuclear power...to name just a few.
- By all means, do help the people at the bottom of the ladder. But, don't just give them handouts. Instead, create jobs, invest hugely in science and technology, institute free and universal health care, institutionalize and reform the so-called "safety net" complete with many more incentives to move out of poverty rather than swim in welfare forever. Treat health care, food and shelter as RIGHTS, not privileges. More progressive states and countries already do this in a disorganized and patchwork manner. Organize, institutionalize and internationalize it.
- Tax the bejesus out of the rich. A marginal tax rate of ninety-plus percent on any income in excess of...say...a million dollars a year sounds about right to us. Note: the marginal rate during the 1950's was 92%, which did NOT stop the boom of the 1960's. Remove all limits on the amount of income taxable for social security and health care. What in heaven's name does anyone...Bill Gates or anyone else...need with billions of dollars of accumulated wealth? So they...as single individuals...can decide to whom and for what purpose these vast fortunes will be used? Don't get us wrong. Given what Bill has already done with his surplus wealth and the fact that the system that rewarded him so handsomely wasn't his "fault" we have nothing but admiration for the man. Microsoft, on the other hand, has become a water-treading no-novelty monopoly and should be either nationalized or broken up.
Talk to you later...
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